As a result of the UEFA draw, Estonian football clubs may face Belarusian clubs in the summer, but the Ministry of Culture opposes their coming to Estonia to compete and advises the Estonian Football Association (EJL) to pursue alternative solutions in collaboration with UEFA.
The document register of the Ministry of Culture contains a response from Tarvi Pürn, the Estonian undersecretary of sport, to the Estonian Football Association, which had previously notified the ministry that Estonian football clubs may face Belarusian competitors this summer as a result of the UEFA draw.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the government, the Ministry of Culture, and the Estonian Olympic Committee have been of consensus that Russian and Belarusian athletes, teams and sport officials should not participate in any international sports competitions.
"According to the Ministry of Culture, clubs from Belarus cannot participate in football competitions in Estonia. Given Estonia's leading role in assisting and supporting Ukraine, it would be inappropriate for a Belarusian football club to compete in Estonia," Pürn said, adding that in the context of international media coverage it would also provide an occasion for the propaganda of Russia and Belarus.
"One of the reasons for not admitting Belarusian football clubs is the safety and security of Belarusian football clubs themselves: a match involving a Belarusian club in Estonia would increase the likelihood of unrest in the stadium or city, threatening the safety of people and other competitors," Pürn explained.
In view of the foregoing, the Ministry of Culture recommends that the Estonian Football Association and UEFA work together to prevent Belarusian football clubs from playing matches in Estonia.
Editor: Kristina Kersa